Archive for August, 2004

Psalms 119:89, “Your word, O LORD , is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” This single verse tells us about a truth that is express throughout scripture. God is the eternal creator. He is the first and forever. We cannot say his is the last because he does not end. So what does this mean to us? Simply put, we do not have the right to complain that God does not do enough for us, stop bad things from happening etc. As creator he has given us the greatest unmerited gift of all. There is nothing else we deserve or need (we did not deserve creation either). We need to get of our butts and start serving God and stop complaining about life. God has given us everything we need to have an amazing world (life, free-will, the ability for kindness, faith, love etc.) We just need to use these gifts. Instead of complaining about how God lets bad things happen in this world, lets remember bad things happen because we use our free-will in wrong ways. We also fail to love.

Dear Heavenly Father,

The two greatest gifts you gave us was our creation and our free-will. Thank you. Please open our eyes to see that all bad things on this earth our, our creation, not yours. I love you Lord and ask for you forgiveness when I fail to Love others. Help me to serve you. Amen.

Most of us have heard the saying, “With friends like these, who needs enemies.” This saying is absolutely true in the story of Job. You will never find a bigger bunch of blow hard know-it-alls. I often wonder how often we act like this toward are friends. We try to diagnose the latest ailment and cure it with our psychobabble. However, we should actually just be a friend. We need to listen, pray and encourage. We need to give only the advice prompted by Godly wisdom with humility.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being with me each and every day. Thank you for leading me and guiding me. Help me to be a person of encouragement and not a blow hard. Help me to talk only when you would want me too. Help me to see everyone through your eyes. I love you. Amen.

Job and his compatriots misunderstand God. They blame their troubles on God and make comments like, “Does God pervert justice.” It is easy to feel sorry for Job because he has lost his family. He is left only with his wife who is telling him to give up and die. However, there are some horrible misunderstanding about God that need to be answered.

1. God does not pervert justice. As the creator of all things he defines justice. He is the sole arbiter of what is just and unjust.
2. God is not against Job. Job is a human just like all of us. He fails each and everyday to follow God completely. He cannot claim he is completely “righteous.” In Job 1, God says he is righteous. However, this righteousness is because he seek after God and is forgiven, not because he never sins.
3. God only punishes the truly wicked while they are one earth. Job is not being punished by God. He is being punished by Satan. Satan punishes whom ever he wishes. It is very clear in scripture that God has given Satan power over this world. He is still in control, but he has chosen to give Satan this power so we can have a true choice.
4. If you are righteous nothing bad will happen to you. See above. Satan rules this world capriciously. He doesn’t even reward those who do his evil will always. Bad things happen to all people.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for loving me even when I don’t truly understand you. Thank you for teaching me each and every day a little bit more about who you are. Help me to serve you with complete faith and loyalty even though I only understand partially. I love you. Amen.

Job – A man of integrity and love for God. His story is an amazing tales of trials which he withstood to continue to serve the Lord God Almighty. In his very first trail he looses virtually everything he owns and all of his family members except his wife are killed (The case can be made his wife remaining alive was another of Satans curses. She tried to talk him into committing suicide.) Most of us couldn’t even make it past the first trial without turning our backs of God, but Job was stronger. He stayed true through the first trial only to bear a second. His body was afflicted with sores. At this point he did wish he had never been born, but did not turn his back on God. I am amazed at his faith.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, help me to have the faith and commitment of Job. Help me to understand trials in my life do not cover your love and mercy. Help me to keep perspective. I love you and adore you. Amen.

Psalm 119:41-48 talks about the how we are saved by obeying God’s laws. On the surface this does not seem to make sense. We know from others scripture that the law does not save. In fact, it condemns because we always fail to live up to it. But, there is salvation in the Law of God. We must remember God’s laws are not like human law. Human law attempts to force us to obey or face serious consequences such as fines, jail or even capital punishment. God’s law shows his eternal love for us. Every law is based on this love and therefore we can follow these laws willingly and wantingly when we seek first him. In verse 45 it says we walk around in “freedom” and we follow his “precepts.” This really says it all. Human laws, especially those not based on God’s law, tend to take away freedom. God’s laws grant freedom. Human law requires us to follow it or else. God’s law are precepts we should follow because they will give us the life he has planned for us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your law which give us freedom. Thank you for loving us so much that you gave us these laws to follow. Thank you for creating laws we can follow and desire to follow. Please help me to follow you laws each and every day. I love you Lord. Amen.

Haman was the most honored noble in the court of King Xerxes. He was also full of pride. He made plans to have all the Jews in the Kingdom killed because they refused to bow before him. As Jews, they were only allowed to bow before the Lord God Almighty. Haman put his plan together, but he did not realize he was going against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God had already put into place Queen Esther to be the advocate for her people, the Jews, before the King. In the end Haman was hung upon the gallow he had built to kill the Jew he disliked the most, Mordeci. In fact, this proves God has a sense of humor. Before Haman was executed on his own gallow he was required to honor the Mordeci, the one he hoped to kill.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for looking out for us each and every day. Thank you for being with us and loving us unconditionally. Your love is amazing. Amen.

It seems strange that in the first three chapters of Esther, it is a Jewish person who saves the life of King Xerxes. After this King Xerxes honors a noble man above the others, but not the Jewish person who has saved his life. You would think Mordecai would be given the greatest honor and position, but instead a man who hated the Jews was given the honor. This man, Haman, uses this new level of power to get the King to pass a law that all the Jews are to be killed. In later chapters we know what God does to take care of the situation and bring safety to his people. It just makes you wonder why sometimes.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you can be trusted. When we are in the midst of a situation and do not understand why it is not going our way at least we know we are on the side of the God of Gods and the Lord of Lords. Thank you for this assurance. I love you Heavenly Father. Amen.

One of the important points Paul talks to Timothy about is the taking care of widows. From very early in the life of the New Testament Church, charity to others we considered essential. Helping the widows was one of the most important aspects of this because Widows often had no means of support. However, one of the great points Paul brings up is the responsibility of family to first provide help before the church. I look at our current society and see that we often do not help our parents and grandparents when they are in need. We feel like we have more important places to use our money (expensive cloths, large houses etc.). I wonder how strong the family would be if family still meant being there for each other?

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for giving us family. Thank you for giving us people who love us and care about our lives. Please help me to never forget my responsibility to my parents and and those of my wife. I love you and ask you to make me the kind of father, husband, son and son-in-law you meant me to be. Amen.